Cuckoo wasps are becoming endangered faster than their host species

A recent doctoral dissertation indicates that populations of cuckoo wasps have markedly declined in Finland since the 1960s. A species previously unknown to science, named Chrysis borealis, was also discovered in the study.

Published on 7 December 2018, Photo: Pekka Malinen

Cuckoo wasps (Chrysididae) mainly live as parasites of solitary wasps and bees, and are thus situated at the top of the food chain. Such animals are particularly susceptible to environmental change, since they need large and stable populations of prey or host species in order to thrive. Furthermore, the populations of specialised parasites are distinctly smaller than those of their hosts.

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